Women's Empowerment in Business
The San Rafael Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Women of Industry Committee welcomes you to the Women's Empowerment in Business webpage, comprised of empowering blog posts, and a calendar of events which will feature conversations by women that are of interest to women in business.
If you would like to contribute a blog post, please submit to Leslie Piper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022 Women of Industry Honorees
Thank you to all who came out and celebrated our 2022 Women of Industry honorees in October, at the Bill and Adele Jonas Center. We are grateful for our amazing community.
Visit our Facebook page to see photos from the event.
Past and present honorees, (left) Stephanie Plante, Pat Kendall, Leslie Ruhland & Kim Fink.
Our Most Recent Blog
Our Most Recent Blog
Want to feel better in 2023?
One of my mentors in business said if health isn’t one of your top priorities, it’s time to make it one. Because what can you do without your health?
The first step is to give yourself credit for what you already do that’s good for your health.
And here are five steps to accelerate your health and well-being:
- **Eliminate what’s irritating you. That might be as simple as cleaning out your refrigerator. Or it could be a nagging business project. Other mentors have said to break it into little pieces and do what’s most difficult first. But maybe it’s a relationship that you can’t eliminate. If that’s the case, I have found the Serenity Prayer a helpful guide. “Give me the strength to change the things I can, to accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference. “
- Nourish yourself. That’s not only by eating simple, healthy foods but also in other ways. Listen to music you like. Seek friendship. Notice what feels good in your body, mind, and heart and absorb it into all your cells. Practicing virtue energy, like kindness and gentleness, is also nourishing.
- Get comfortable in your body. That might mean a significant overhaul in your fitness program or simply accepting where you are now. One good technique is to notice a part of you that feels good or even just OK. Keep your focus trained on that part until goodness spreads throughout all of you.
- Use your natural resources. For instance, you’ve heard the expression, “when you smile, the whole world smiles with you.” It’s also true that when you smile, your muscles relax, your digestion improves, and happy hormones are released that strengthen your immune system to fight off nasty bugs.
- Love yourself, as well as others. This is especially important if you have a strong inner critic. Give yourself credit every day for all that you accomplish, even if it’s just resting.
May all your good dreams come true!
Dr. Linda Berry
Chiropractic, Nutrition, and Trauma Healing
Women of Industry Event
Honoring Exceptional Women in Business in Marin County.
Since 2013 the San Rafael Chamber and the Women of Industry committee have annually recognized a businesswoman demonstrating excellence in her field while significantly impacting the community and beyond. The Women of Industry event supports Marin County women in business and celebrates outstanding leadership.
Past Women of Industry Honorees
- 2013 The late Joan Capurro, Bank of Marin
- 2014 The late Ann Brebner, California Film Institute
- 2015 Patty Garbarino, Marin Sanitary Service
- 2016 Melissa Prandi, PRANDI Property Management
- 2017 Pat Kendall, Kaiser Permanente
- 2018 Stephanie Plante, CPi Developers & Mary Kay Sweeney, Homeward Bound
- 2019 Cynthia Murray, North Bay Leadership Council
- 2021 Helen Russell, Equator Coffees
- 2022 Kim Fink, Sun First Solar & Leslie Ruhland, Accuchex Payroll & Workforce Management
Women's Empowerment in Business Blog
Getting into the Reverse Mortgage Business
Getting into the Reverse Mortgage Business
For the past 15 years, I’ve worked exclusively in the Reverse Mortgage business. I began my career 37 years ago in Financial Services and prior to my current position at Mutual of Omaha, I was at Wells Fargo, as a branch manager supporting specific clients with special financial needs.
While working at Wells Fargo, I would often refer senior clients to my colleagues in the Reverse Mortgage department. The same clients would come back to me later and thank me for introducing them to Reverse Mortgage products. I became more and more passionate about the business when I realized how perfect this product was for seniors who were close to retirement or already retired and looking for more spending power by eliminating their monthly mortgage. Wells Fargo executive management noticed my approach and offered me a position in the Reverse Mortgage department.
The skills that have helped me be successful in the reverse mortgage business are extensive financial knowledge and learning how to manage client accounts. In addition, listening to each client to find the best solution for their individual needs is key. My goal is to provide peace of mind to my aging clients so they can enjoy their golden years without financial worry.
Written by: Homa Rassouli, Reverse Mortgage Specialist at Mutual of Omaha
Career Advice That Works
Have you ever had a friend or colleague ask if you would speak with a student or a young adult thinking about a career in your field? I get this request a few times a year, and I always try to connect with young people interested in a career in commercial real estate. A lot of the guidance I share with others is based on my own experiences, and being successful is different for everyone. Here’s my success story.
Over 20 years ago, I started my career in real estate, working for a large property management firm in San Francisco. The company was male-dominated, with only one woman on the executive staff. Most of the other females were receptionists, admins, and assistant property managers. My manager, however, was a Senior Property Manager, and she was one of the few at a high level. I learned a lot from her as she opened my eyes to what it takes to be a strong woman in business. This established my foundation in commercial real estate, which leads to some thoughts that have helped me succeed in the business.
When I first got my real estate license, I worried that people wouldn’t take me seriously because I had no sales experience. However, after a few years, I realized it wasn’t just about sales experience. I was great at listening to my clients and understanding their needs. Also, I was honest, and I had no trouble telling potential clients what I didn’t know. Instead of trying to fake my way through a conversation, I would let them know I’d get the answers and follow up within 12 - 24 hours.
My motto from day one has always been to be true to myself. Sometimes this means holding to your ideals, even if it hurts your bottom line. I fired a client for giving me long hugs before each meeting. I gently informed him I was uncomfortable with the hugs, but he continued. When I told him that we could not work together anymore, he refused to pay my full commission. Yes, that ticked me off, but I felt empowered because I took care of myself. These days, I focus on business relationships and opportunities that are more meaningful and set boundaries right away.
Lastly, I’ve established an incredible network, which has helped me grow personally and professionally. The key to success in any field is to make sure you have an excellent business support group. I’ve built my network by volunteering, joining chambers and networking groups, and finding a few solid businesspeople to refer clients to. In turn, they have referred clients to me. These days, over half of the referrals I receive are professional women looking for a commercial space to purchase or lease.
The bottom line is: Honesty, listening, and being true to yourself will help you succeed in any business.
Written By: Lynsey Kayser
The Work-Life Puzzle: If there is no balance and there are way too many compartmentalizations, what is there? Life!
Boost your Energy with Good Nutrition and Feel your Best!
Empowering Women in a Job Search